AusRAIL, Market Sectors

State wrangling costs Australia valuable transport infrastructure: ATEC

<p>Political and bureaucratic delays added at least five years to every major transport infrastructure project in Australia "for no valid reason", the Australian Transport &#38 Energy Corridor (ATEC) said.</p> <p>ATEC chairman Everald Compton renewed calls for an infrastructure authority with national jurisdiction when he addressed the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Transport and Regional Services in Canberra yesterday (Wednesday, November 10).</p> <p>Australia had suffered in its ability to meet long overdue infrastructure needs because the basic responsibility for such projects fell into the hands of state governments, the committee, which is conducting an inquiry into the integration of regional road and rail networks and their interface with ports, was told.</p> <p>There was "no prospect" of the state governments improving their century-long history of underperformance, Mr Compton said.</p> <p>A national infrastructure authority must be given power to initiate and implement projects deemed to be of national importance, he said.</p> <p>One such project would be the Australian Inland Rail Expressway from Melbourne to Gladstone &#8211 a project for which ATEC has a proposal.</p> <p>Lack of agreement and commitment from goverments in Australia was deterring private investment in these projects, Mr Compton said.</p> <p>Aggressive federal intervention and sustained political will was needed to achieve the necessary results, he said.</p> <br />